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Improving Commercial Irrigation Practice in Culinary Herb Crop Production

Improving Commercial Irrigation Practice in Culinary Herb Crop Production
Improving Commercial Irrigation Practice in Culinary Herb Crop Production
More than two-thirds of global freshwater abstracts are used for irrigation in agriculture and horticulture, but deficit irrigation practice offers a way to both save water and improve quality and shelf life of food crops. Deficit irrigation is the practice of supplying less than the optimum amount of water required by a crop in order to impose a mild stress, which triggers a number of beneficial side effects. The benefits of this technique have been demonstrated repeatedly in a range of food crops and numerous times in aromatic herbs produced for essential oils, but rarely have these effects been studied in aromatic crops produced for culinary purposes.
As fresh culinary herbs have increased in popularity in the UK and across Europe in recent years, so has the demand on finite resources for their production, including fresh water. Living potted herbs have become commonplace in supermarkets, but their supply to the UK market demands intensive production methods, and fresh-cut herbs are supplemented by drought-prone sources in southern Europe and across the world. Despite the rise in popularity, the product is prone to issues with post-harvest quality and shelf life.
In order to introduce a stress-imposing water deficit to a commercial system, remote sensing of the crop would be beneficial, whereby excessive stress may be detected prior to any detrimental impact on the crop. Thermal imaging has been used in plant research since the 1960s and has had commercial success in fruit crops such as grapevine. This technology has not been applied to commercial culinary herb crop production, however.
Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential of deficit irrigation, applied in commercial herb growing systems, to improve the quality and shelf life of culinary herb crops
University of Southampton
Rowland, Libby Susannah
34d09993-8d03-47a0-967a-52e124b8b841
Rowland, Libby Susannah
34d09993-8d03-47a0-967a-52e124b8b841
Taylor, Gail
f3851db9-d37c-4c36-8663-e5c2cb03e171

Rowland, Libby Susannah (2020) Improving Commercial Irrigation Practice in Culinary Herb Crop Production. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 247pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

More than two-thirds of global freshwater abstracts are used for irrigation in agriculture and horticulture, but deficit irrigation practice offers a way to both save water and improve quality and shelf life of food crops. Deficit irrigation is the practice of supplying less than the optimum amount of water required by a crop in order to impose a mild stress, which triggers a number of beneficial side effects. The benefits of this technique have been demonstrated repeatedly in a range of food crops and numerous times in aromatic herbs produced for essential oils, but rarely have these effects been studied in aromatic crops produced for culinary purposes.
As fresh culinary herbs have increased in popularity in the UK and across Europe in recent years, so has the demand on finite resources for their production, including fresh water. Living potted herbs have become commonplace in supermarkets, but their supply to the UK market demands intensive production methods, and fresh-cut herbs are supplemented by drought-prone sources in southern Europe and across the world. Despite the rise in popularity, the product is prone to issues with post-harvest quality and shelf life.
In order to introduce a stress-imposing water deficit to a commercial system, remote sensing of the crop would be beneficial, whereby excessive stress may be detected prior to any detrimental impact on the crop. Thermal imaging has been used in plant research since the 1960s and has had commercial success in fruit crops such as grapevine. This technology has not been applied to commercial culinary herb crop production, however.
Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential of deficit irrigation, applied in commercial herb growing systems, to improve the quality and shelf life of culinary herb crops

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Libby Rowland FINAL thesis - Version of Record
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Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Permission to deposit thesis - form Libby Rowland
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More information

Published date: 31 October 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446170
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446170
PURE UUID: 24feff75-929d-4a28-b666-e032ab629832
ORCID for Gail Taylor: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8470-6390

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Jan 2021 17:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:52

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Contributors

Author: Libby Susannah Rowland
Thesis advisor: Gail Taylor ORCID iD

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